Rail Line in Bay State shared by Amtrak and MBTA
WASHINGTON – Amtrak and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) have reached a new agreement governing the operation, maintenance and use of the 37.9-mile Attleboro Line, between Boston and the Rhode Island state line. Amtrak will provide maintenance-of-way and dispatching services on the line through 2021.
This agreement ends a dispute over applicability of the federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008, Section 212, which created the Northeast Corridor Commission and mandated the development of the Commuter and Intercity Rail Cost Allocation Policy. The Policy, which is meant to provide a consistent methodology for calculating and assessing costs for all users of the Northeast Corridor, was jointly developed by all the owners and operators of rail services from Boston to Washington, D.C.
The MBTA and Amtrak have operated under the 2003 Attleboro Line Agreement, which governs the shared use of the rail line in Massachusetts. The line is part of the Northeast Corridor, the busiest railroad in North America, with approximately 2,200 Amtrak, commuter and freight trains operating on some portion of the Washington-Boston route each day.
“The joint effort of Amtrak and MBTA to reach this new agreement demonstrates our shared recognition of the importance of continued investment in the rail infrastructure in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and throughout the New England region, said Tom Moritz, Amtrak Assistant Vice President of Infrastructure Access and Investment. “We look forward to working closely with MBTA in the years to come to provide services that benefit both commuter and Amtrak customers.”
“The MBTA is pleased to have reached this agreement with Amtrak, signaling our collaborative efforts and mutual interests in maintaining world-class service for all rail customers through the Northeast Corridor,” said Interim MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We look forward to working cooperatively with Amtrak now and in the future.”
The MBTA now assumes responsibility for directing the capital program on the Attleboro Line. MBTA and Amtrak will contribute to capital projects and operating costs in a manner consistent with PRIIA and the Cost Allocation Policy.
Amtrak will allow the MBTA to use South Station’s system for dispatching of the south-end branch lines, charging for its use of these facilities based on a proportionate sharing of facility and system costs.
Amtrak – America’s Railroad® – is dedicated to safe and reliable mobility as the nation’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its high-speed rail operator. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak passengers for each of the past six years. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a 10-member board of directors, nine of whom are appointed by the President of the United States plus the Amtrak CEO. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Learn more at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and other information. Check us out at blog.Amtrak.com, Like us on Facebook.com and Follow us on Twitter @Amtrak.